Michigan Governor Rick Snyder cause a diplomatic row when he tried to slip Detroit over the border and leave the bankrupt and crisis-ridden American city with Canada, U.S. and Canadian authorities have confirmed.
Officers of the Canadian Border Services Agency apprehended the governor late last night when he was caught trying to redirect the Detroit River two miles to the south, which would have left Detroit on the Canadian side of the border while leaving the more affluent suburbs on the American side.
“I will only confirm that officers of the Canadian Border Services Agency, approaching by watercraft, apprehended an American government official at 3 a.m., Eastern Time, approximately three feet into Canadian territory,” said James Haprer, head of the Canadian Border Services Agency. “The apprehended suspect had several wooden stakes of a kind commonly used in marking property boundaries and a can of orange spray paint. He also had a shovel, which the suspect was using on the Canadian side of the Detroit River at the time of his apprehension.”
Snyder, elected in 2011, has been struggling with what to do with Detroit since he took office, and in 2013 he appointed Kevyn Orr to oversee the city’s finances as the city’s emergency city manager, a position that has clashed at times with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Under Orr, Detroit filed for bankruptcy in July 2013, the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. “Okay, so this is embarrassing,” Snyder remarked at the time.
The Detroit River incident is just the latest between Snyder and Canadian officials, who say they have repeatedly turned back the Governor’s efforts to wash his hands of the once-grand city. “I will neither confirm nor deny that Gov. Snyder four months ago filed a legal brief with the Supreme Court of Canada, arguing that Detroit is properly a Canadian city,” said a Canadian government official in Ottawa, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “The Governor is arguing that Detroit was technically annexed by Canada in 1814 as part of the Treaty of Ghent. All I can say is, we’re looking at it closely and that Gov. Snyder’s offer to throw in Starbucks gift cards, while appreciated, is unlikely to influence the court decision.”
Given the sensitivity of the situation, Canadian officials escorted Snyder back to the governor’s mansion in Lansing early this morning and have worked out an agreement with the U.S. Border Patrol to alert their Canadian counterparts should the Governor get within 20 feet of the Canadian border. “Just to be on the safe side, you know? He’s a repeat offender,” said a Canadian official.
Gary Doer, the Canadian ambassador to the United States in Washington, said he’s pleased the two governments are working matters out smoothly, although he let it slip that things were better when Jennifer Granholm, Snyder’s immediate predecessor, was governor. Not only was she born in Canada, he says, “but she was sooooo much better looking. Who knows, maybe we would have taken the damn city if she’d asked. I’ve had drinks with her. Believe me, it would be worth it.”
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OTTOWA—Tired of living in the shadow of its much larger southern neighbor, Canada yesterday officially changed its name to Not USA and unveiled a new flag that government officials say is designed to tell the world that Canada is its own country and not simply a northern outpost of the United States. “Not USA has a long and proud history,” says Stephen Harper, prime minister of Not USA, formerly known as Canada. “With our new name and flag, we’re celebrating our unique place in the community of nations. People forget that Not USA defeated the United States in several key battles in the War of 1812 and beat the U.S. in the 2010 winter olympics hockey championship. What’s more, Not USA is the largest country on earth by land mass, has more ice than any other country, and is the world’s largest producer of maple syrup and moose souvenirs.” More.
Researchers at Oxford University have bestowed upon Canada the dubious distinction of being the most boring of the six countries that comprise what’s known as the Anglosphere: Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United States. “We think it’s important that this matter be settled once and for all,” says lead researcher Nigel Clappe, lecturer in political science and demographics at Oxford University. “Up until this point, people have been identifying the most boring country based on nothing more than their own gut feeling. And that wasn’t helping anybody.” More.
OTTAWA—Tired of always playing second fiddle to its bigger southern neighbor, the government of Canada has laid out a set of 10 areas in which it wants to overtake the United States within five years:
1. Violent crime
2. Illegal drug use
3. Prescription drug abuse
4. Teenage pregnancies
6. Preventable diseases
7. Obsolete infrastructure
8. Declining academic performance
9. Short-term corporate thinking
10. Religious fundamentalism
“We’re not just about hockey and maple syrup,” says Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. More.
Ultra hard-righter Ayn Rand, one of the most influential voices in American politics in the last 50 years, was a nobody until a cabal of Canadian expatriates made her a star in a quest to destablize the United States so that Canada could gain a geo-political edge over its southern neighbor, according to a blockbuster book released yesterday. “People think of Canada as this quiet, do-gooder country that goes the extra mile to get along with its much bigger neighbor,” says Samuel Harper, a political science professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Harper is author of Ayn Rand Conspiracy: How Canada Unleashed the World’s Kookiest Political Philosopher on an Unsuspecting United States (Basic Books: 2014), which landed on the New York Times bestseller list upon its debut. More.
Saying their favorite band has become too commercial since it was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last April, fans of Canadian power trio Rush say it’s time to make a push for their removal. “We were instrumental in getting the band inducted into the Hall of Fame in the first place, thanks to our years of persistence, but now we see we made a mistake,” says Randy Powers, a fan from Pittsburgh who has launched a petition drive calling for Rush’s removal from the Cleveland institution. “Bobbleheads, T-shirts, refrigerators—it’s just all too much. We don’t mind the band trying to make a buck. It’s hard to do that now with people so easily downloading or streaming music on the Internet. But enough is enough.” More.
Cowed by the recent success and outpouring of affection for the Canadian rock trio Rush, music critics have largely refrained from laying a glove on the band, which first hit the music scene in 1974 and today is enjoying something of a renaissance as it basks in the success of its most recent album Clockwork Angels. But several music critics, including most prominently Adam Carter of Rolling Stone, are bucking the trend and slamming the band for its pretentious lyrics, over-wrought drumming, and, most of all, the screeching vocals of bass player and lead singer Geddy Lee. “I know it’s fashionable for one to pay one’s respects to ‘legendary’ progressive rockers Rush, but I just can’t hop onto this bandwagon,” Carter says in his blog, Rock in/Site. “No one can tell me Geddy Lee has somehow learned how to sing. In fact, I would venture to say More.
Poll numbers have been slipping for U.S. Republican presidential aspirant Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) since he announced he candidacy in April and one of his top advisors is pointing the finger at Rush, the Canadian progressive rock trio whose libertarian-themed lyrics have made them a long-time favorite of Paul’s. “As an individual, Rand Paul can listen to any music he wants,” says Chip Englander, the candidate’s campaign manager and one of his top strategists. “It’s not for me to weigh in on someone’s taste in music, no matter how horrible it is. But as a candidate trying to build a base of support, Rand Paul is doing himself no favors playing music that causes his base of support to run away, screaming ‘Make it stop!’ We’re telling him he can’t go on listening to this music.” More.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin implemented sweeping guardianship laws yesterday that prohibit men from doing many of the things they’ve been accustomed to doing, like marrying without their mother’s permission, leaving the house without a female escort, and signing contracts without a female co-signature. “Men have been responsible for most of the disasters in the world throughout history, including wars, environmental destruction, and domestic violence,” says Fallin, who was elected Oklahoma’s first woman governor in 2011. “It’s time to stop the madness, so as of yesterday, thanks to the law passed by our state legislature, men can only marry with their mother’s permission and can leave the house only when accompanied by a woman, among other provisions that serve to protect men, women, and in fact our communities.” More.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the Canadian born firebrand of conservative politics, is a favorite of many Republicans, thanks to his strong social and fiscal conservatism, but, as a very scary man, he will never be elected president of the United States. “I like Sen. Cruz in the same way that I like movies about self-hating megalomaniacs, but I could never vote for him as president,” says Dave Laver, a Republican in Ohio, a key swing state. Cruz was very much a liberal in his youth, say people who knew him, and he was scary back then, too, but he applied his scariness in a liberal rather than conservative direction. More.